Friday, August 23, 2019 | ePaper

Pope urges concrete measures to protect Syrian civilians

  • Print


AP, Vatican City :
Pope Francis has sent Syrian President Bashar Assad a letter expressing his "profound concern" for the humanitarian situation in Syria and in particular the plight of civilians in Idlib province.
The Vatican said Cardinal Peter Turkson, one of Francis' top advisers, hand-delivered the letter to Assad during a meeting Monday in Damascus attended by the Vatican's ambassador to Syria.
It was an unusual, hands-on gesture meant to show Francis' concern about the situation.
Assad's office said in a statement the talks focused on political efforts to end the crisis, with Syria's president blaming regional and Western countries for supporting insurgents.
Francis has frequently called for an end to the conflict and decried the plight of Syrian civilians. He has also condemned weapons manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe for fueling wars in Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan.
The Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the letter asked for civilian lives and key infrastructure to be protected, such as schools and hospitals. The letter urged Assad to take concrete steps for reconciliation and to release political prisoners, the Vatican said.
Syria's conflict, which began in 2011, has killed more than 400,000 people.
Syrian activists say airstrikes kill 27 in rebel-held townBEIRUT (AP) - Multiple airstrikes hit a busy market in a rebel-controlled town in northwestern Syria on Monday, killing at least 27 people and turning several buildings into piles of rubble, according to opposition activists and a war monitor. Shortly afterward, state media said rebels shelled a government-held village, killing seven.

More News For this Category

Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system

Iran unveils home-grown missile defence system

AFP, Tehran :Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States.Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic's

Russia sends 'Fedor' its first humanoid robot into space

Russia sends 'Fedor' its first humanoid robot into space

AFP, Moscow :Russia on Thursday launched an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.Named Fedor, for

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel area

Syrian government opens corridor for civilians in rebel area

AP, Damascus :Syria's Foreign Ministry says a "humanitarian corridor" has been opened so that civilians in a besieged, rebel-held area in the north of Hama province can leave.The ministry said

N Korea dismisses nuclear talks if US 'hostile military moves' continue

N Korea dismisses nuclear talks if US 'hostile military moves' continue

AFP, Seoul :North Korea said Thursday it has "no interest" in dialogue unless Washington stops "escalating hostile military moves", as a senior US envoy visited Seoul with an eye on

Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

Putin says US missile test raises new threats to Russia

AP, Helsinki :Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that the test of a new U.S. missile banned under a now-defunct arms treaty has raised new threats to Russia and will

News In Brief

Rebels claim downing US drone over YemenAP, Cairo Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed they shot down a U.S. drone over the country's north, as a leading rights group said Wednesday the

Macron to discuss Kashmir with Modi  ahead of G7 Summit

Macron to discuss Kashmir with Modi ahead of G7 Summit

AFP, Paris :French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss tensions in the divided region of Kashmir with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two meet in Paris this week, a

Johnson, Merkel to face off in first Brexit talks

Johnson, Merkel to face off in first Brexit talks

AFP, Berlin :British Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits Berlin on Wednesday to kick off a marathon of tense talks with key European and international leaders as the threat of a

Trump scraps Denmark visit after Danes say Greenland not for sale

Trump scraps Denmark visit after Danes say Greenland not for sale

US President Donald Trump Tuesday postponed a planned visit to Denmark after Danish officials insisted its autonomous territory of Greenland was not for sale.Trump's decision confirms just how interested he

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Gulf shipping

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Gulf shipping

Reuters, Sydney Australia will join the United States in a security mission to protect merchant vessels traveling through key Middle East waterways after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel, Prime Minister